‘Click and Collect’ Retail Is Changing the Way Consumers Shop
People have come to love purchasing products online – be it shopping from their desktops, tablets or smartphones. However, the love affair with brick and mortar store shopping is far from over. In an effort to remain competitive (and maintain that much sought after larger shopping basket), retailers are giving consumers the option to order products online and pick them up at a brick and mortar location with little hassle in between.
Click and collect – what is it?
Retailers are calling this new trend of buying online/picking up in store, “BOPUS” or “Click and Collect”. This type of shopping takes the convenience of online shopping and marries it with the traditional feel of brick and mortar shopping, namely, the ability to buy a product with the click of a button but still be able to see and touch it before bringing it home. When it comes to click and collect, electronics are among the most popular goods, followed by Housewares and Apparel. The category that ranked the least appealing for BOPUS was fresh prepared meals and groceries. With this in mind, certain grocers have stepped up to change that ranking. Meanwhile, retailers who do sell desirable products through this service are cashing in on the market findings. According to the ICSC, 69% of shoppers who used click and collect purchased additional items while picking up in store.
Walmart: part supercenter, part distribution center?
Walmart has already integrated click and collect into its flagship store in Benton, Arkansas, to assist omnichannel shoppers. Walmart built a large tower within the store (internally, it’s called an automatic pick-up machine) which is being tested before it’s rolled out in other Walmart’s across the country. When a customer orders something through Walmart’s e-commerce site for in-store pick-up, they are given an order number. Upon arrival at the tower, they must enter that number into the machine. The machine then spits out the customer’s package, similar to how a vending machine would. Because the tower has to be big enough to accommodate a variety of packages, the tower takes up quite a bit of space within the brick and mortar store. This pilot program is being monitored to see how customers rate the experience and if this helps Walmart to grow their click and collect business. If successful, these distribution towers will become a common site within all Walmart stores in the future.
Most retailers have come to depend heavily on the revenue the online arm of their business brings in. But how does this option affect grocery stores? With that question in mind, food grocer Kroger has come up with a solution to grow this part of their company, one that may serve as the model for other food grocers in the future. Kroger was able to directly target their customer base through their online rewards program. Their program searches the products each individual shops for most frequently and pre-populates a grocery list for that shopper when they log-in. Kroger also helps their online grocery shoppers by setting reminders that correspond to their purchases – maybe they are running low on milk or flour since their last or second to last online purchase? Once the groceries are purchased, the customer then drives to the location, and pulls into the designated pick-up section of the store’s parking lot where they are then greeted by an associate who comes to gather the customer’s information.The groceries are then brought to the customer’s car. This pilot program has been very successful, with clients having reviewed the service quite positively. Kroger expects the service to grow in 2017 and plans to open it up to include fresh, prepared meals as well.
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